December 5, 2013 / 1:34 PM / 6 years ago

Woolwich suspect had Al Qaeda, jihad texts, court hears

LONDON (Reuters) - The two men accused of murdering British soldier Lee Rigby on a London street owned texts covering jihad and martyrdom, with one of the pair also owning a magazine published by Al Qaeda, the Old Bailey heard on Thursday.

A photograph of Drummer (Private) Lee Rigby of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers is pictured in the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in London November 9, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, are accused of running over Rigby, 25, as he crossed a street in Woolwich, southeast London, in May before attacking his unconscious body with a meat cleaver and knives.

The prosecution has said the two suspects then dragged Rigby’s body into the middle of the road for as many people to see as possible.

At the home of Adebolajo’s father, police retrieved books and two laptops belonging to the suspect containing articles and lectures with titles including “Extreme Islam”, “The book of Jihad” and a magazine published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula entitled “Inspire,” prosecutor Oliver Glasgow told the court.

One passage from Extreme Islam, that had been highlighted, read: “Islam is always in need of martyrs. The revival of courage and zeal is essential for the revival of a nation.”

The court also heard that Adebolajo told police that Britain’s MI5 security service had visited him earlier in 2013 and knew where he lived.

At the home of co-accused Adebowale, police also found a computer and USB containing documents and lectures covering topics such as jihad and martyrdom.


Earlier, the jury heard a video of Adebolajo describing for the first time how he killed Rigby and saying that he had done so as humanely as he could by cutting at his neck.

In a recorded a week and a half after the attack, Adebolajo, wearing a blue blanket over his head and upper body, told police he killed Rigby as painlessly as possible.

“We exited the vehicle and I am not sure how I struck the first blow,” Adebolajo said, acknowledging Rigby was still alive after being hit by the car.

“The most humane way to kill any creature is to cut the jugular ... he may be my enemy but he is a man,” he added.

“I struck at the neck and attempted to remove his head.”

When asked whether he expected to be a martyr, Adebolajo said he did not “shy away” from being killed on the battlefield and his defence lawyer David Gottlieb told the court that his client saw himself as a soldier.

Both men, who deny murder, sat silently in the dock as the video was played, with several members of Rigby’s family just a few feet away.

The trial is expected to last two more weeks with the defence case due to begin on Monday.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison

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